Australians are slowing down on the beer, research shows

The Australian Bureau of Statistics have just released new data about Australian alcohol consumption. Drink it in. 

The data shows that consumption of alcoholic spirits has risen between 2017-18, bucking a recent downward trend, while consumption of other alcoholic drinks, especially beer, was steady falling.

alcohol spirits
Photo: John Fornander

The long-term decline in apparent consumption of alcohol per person has stalled, displaying that Australians are now turning to spirits more often than they used to. 

Robert Long, the Bureau’s acting Director of Health Statistics, said: “In 2017-18, the total alcohol consumed in Australia was equivalent to 9.51 litres for every person in Australia aged 15 years and over, similar to the 9.48 litres in 2016-17.

“In average daily consumption, this equates to 2.08 standard drinks per person and is unchanged from 2016-17. What is interesting is that we are seeing a rise in spirit consumption which has been on a recent downward trend.” 

“Spirits and Ready to Drink beverage (RTDs) consumption increased from 1.79 to 1.89 litres per capita over the previous year. Beer consumption was relatively steady at 3.71 litres per capita, while wine consumption, which has recently been virtually equal to beer, has decreased slightly from 3.74 to 3.67 litres per capita over the same period.”

Via Australian Bureau of Statistics

“This latest data shows a levelling in the most recent period of the longer term trend where pure alcohol consumption per capita dropped from 13.09 per person in 1974-75 to 9.51 litres in 2017-18.”

“In 2017-18 beer represented 39.0 per cent of all pure alcohol available for consumption and wine 38.6 per cent. This is in stark contrast to 40 years ago when beer represented 67.6 per cent and wine 18.6 per cent of pure alcohol available per person aged 15 years and over reflecting the change in consumption preferences over time.” 

Other results discussed in the 2017-18 Apparent Consumption of Alcohol publication include the apparent consumption of beer, wine, spirits, pre-mixed beverages and cider. More info can be found here.